I remember one time walking out of Hamra street, a once vibrant street in Beirut, during the last days of winter and seeing a vendor with styrofoam boxes overflowing with lump-like things held together with clear tape.
The first time I saw these sandy-stone-like produce I thought they were the world prized truffles with the amazing flavor and the unique aroma. I made risotto and shaved* some of those on top. I even buried one in a jar of short grain rice to fragrance it for risotto.
*shaved, more like crumbled it on the box grater’s slicer side only to get grains of sand later with every bite because I didn’t clean them well
Only later did I learn that these truffles are not the same thing.
These beautiful spores are called Desert Truffles. They are harvested not using dogs or pigs like western truffles but by roaming the desert landscapes (not desert dunes, but bare lands with rare vegetation) looking for bumps and cracks in the land. They dig their hands down and pull out the sand hoping there’s a something worthy in there.
This is a recipe I crave every now and then.
I’ve had it the first time at a restaurant in Hamra-Beirut a year ago and tried to replicate it with a great success.
Remember when we were a republic with no president?
Not anymore. Orange is literally the new black. After more than two years with no president finally the Lebanese parties (most of them at least, the ones who got a share of the cake) have agreed to vote for a candidate. Two hours of labor in the parliament proved that we still have a wicked sense of humor despite all, and that keeping the child in you alive is super important even if you’re a member of the parliament. Nothing feels good like re-living classroom fights between the bullies in the back, the nerds in the front, the teacher on the platform by the blackboard, and the supervisor pretending to be monitoring that everything is going as planned. All on live TV
Politics aside, it is purely coincidental that I am posting an orange pumpkin on such a day. This recipe was supposed to go last week as part of Pumpkin Week with the EatTheLebaneseSeason squad, our initiative to give recipes on how to cook and use local seasonal produce. But here it is: a super flavorful salad that can sub for a main meal with all the goodness it is packed with.
This is not really a sponsored post, but I did receive the packages for free and decided to include them in a recipe with review
A couple of weeks ago I received a cold package from Tanmia, a local chicken producer and supplier. The package contained samples of their newly launched ready-to-cook products: Chicken Escalope, Chicken wings in barbecue sauce, Chicken legs in tomato sauce. I am not usually into ready-made stuff, but I decided to give them a try. Continue reading
One of my mission statements in this #Cookin5m2 is to share easy recipes that almost anyone can do. Although I do some nice and fancy dishes, I like to present the simple stuff in a nice looking way adding some small touches and elements that transports the dish to a different level.